Carrots and sticks keep Srinivasan confident
The Supreme Court's strictures on N Srinivasan and the BCCI elections don't seem to have affected preparations within the board for Sunday's annual general meeting, of which the elections are a part. Srinivasan's own confident statement that he would attend the meeting and stand for re-election is mirrored in the business-as-usual attitude of his colleagues on the board, making any discussion on whether he should or should not contest irrelevant.
Right now, there is serious business to be concluded: The distribution of the various board posts and similar rewards. The deadline to file nominations for all the nine posts - president, secretary, treasurer, joint secretary and five vice-presidents - ends at 4pm on Saturday, enabling all sorts of possible compromises for all the top posts. The corollary - the prospect of losing out on staging matches or landing plum tour assignments - is what is keeping the opposition in check.
All the five incumbent vice-presidents, one from each zone, are set to be replaced, the final decisions regarding their replacements to be taken in the zonal unit meetings on Saturday morning. At the same time, once the likes of Jagmohan Dalmiya, Arun Jaitley, Rajiv Shukla and Anurag Thakur - key figures in the BCCI - check in to their hotel, the candidates for other key positions, including that of the IPL governing council chairman, will be zeroed in on.
Despite the board seemingly divided in the aftermath of the IPL corruption scandal, it is unlikely that there will be an election for any of the top posts. Traditionally, once a president is elected unopposed in the BCCI, even the other office-bearers emerge as consensus candidates from his group of supporters. It would be interesting to see whether Sanjay Patel and Ravi Savant, who were appointed secretary and treasurer in June following the resignations of Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke, end up retaining their positions.
With Srinivasan's re-election in little doubt, the sole question concerns who will preside over the AGM. Similar to most of the AGMs, where the members usually request the senior-most member attending the meeting to preside, it is likely that Dalmiya, who has been running the board's day-to-day affairs during Srinivasan's "exile", may chair the AGM.
In a way, BCCI officials appear relieved that Srinivasan's decision to step aside, in the wake of the IPL spot-fixing scandal that saw his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan arrested, has been vindicated. While questions were raised over whether the BCCI constitution allowed for the president to "step aside", the Supreme Court's directive will most probably mean the arrangement will prevail till the BCCI's legal tussle with Cricket Association of Bihar ends.
In any case, officials believe it will only be a matter of days before the case is resolved. The Supreme Court's next hearing is on Monday, the day after the meeting.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo